- Material: Cornelian Shell, 15K gold tested .
- Size: 2 2/8" by 1 7/8".
- Date and Origin: Circa 1860 Italy.
- Conditions: Mint.
Museum quality cameo depicting Hebe feeding the Eagle of Zeus. This cameo is a triumph of grace and delicacy. Everything in this piece speaks about art and the carver who made this work was just a true artist. Look at the beauty of Hebe, her face is so pretty and at the same time so regal, her facial expression is sweetest. The carving is perfect in every details, a three dimensional one. Note the pearls in her hair and the crown of plaited hair. Look how the carver used the shell to evidence her face, her hair, the eagle. The delicacy of this piece is truly amazing. The shell is perfect, no lines at all. Look with how much grace she holds the eagle's head. Her dress is softly leant on her shoulder leaving it exposed, you can note the ruched dress which leaves a part of her breast nude. Everything is wonderfully carved. You can also see the nipple of her breast, just a bit carved. This subject was very popular in the Victorian era, probably after a painting of Sir Willian Beechey (England 1753/1839), now in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge England. This cameo is a real work of art. This subject is really amazing. This is another masterly carved cameo. A very desirable collectors piece, rare and museum quality cameo.
A bit of History:
In Greek mythology, is the goddess of youth (Roman equivalent: Juventas). She is the daughter of Zeus and Hera. Hebe was the cupbearer for the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus, serving their nectar and ambrosia, until she was married to Herakles (Roman equivalent: Hercules); her successor was the young Trojan prince Ganymede. Another title of hers, for this reason, is "Ganymeda." She also drew baths for Ares and helped Hera enter her chariot. Hebe had two children with her husband Heracles: Alexiares and Anicetus. The name Hebe comes from a Greek word meaning "youth" or "prime of life". Juventas
likewise means "youth", as can be seen in such derivatives as juvenile. In art, Hebe is usually depicted wearing a sleeveless dress. There is a statue of Hebe, by Robert Thomas 1966 in Birmingham city centre, England. Antonio Canova also sculpted four different statues of Hebe: one of them is in the Museum of Forlì, in Italy.